On our way back from Duoyishu, after a marvelous sunrise, our minivan got completely stuck in a narrow street. Ahead of us, touring cars, taxis, vans, carts: it was clear that we would be stuck for a long while. Fortunately, our driver advised us to get out and walk, indicating he would pick us up at the other side of the village. With the image of the terraced rice fields still very much on our mind, we set out to walk in the chaotic main street of this village. I imagined how the local people would have to endure this traffic jam every morning because of the busloads of tourists coming back from the rice fields.
Soon, I realized what was really going on. On both sides of the street, I saw people selling their wares, people walking with newly acquired products, people carrying loads of products elsewhere. It was market day! And what colours around me - the ethnic minorities to be found in this region were all represented. Most prominently the Hani people, the same architects of the fabulous rice terraced fields. Their dark blue dress with fine finish, and purple, green and blue headdresses, gave them a distinct appeal. Scenes developed and dissolved quickly right in front of my eyes: a woman walking with a cock (I did not understand if she just bought it, or if she was on her way to sell), women debating the price of a duck, an old man in a pensive mood looking away from his sewing machine...
It was a feast for the eyes to walk around this market, and I enjoyed every second of it. Fortunately, the traffic was stuck for a long time, which gave me ample time to explore the market. I did not understand how traffic was allowed through the street: at times, no cars passed for a long time, and the market actually appeared peaceful; but at others, there was a parade of big touring cars making everyone jump to the sides of the street. I saw many more marvelous people, with bright coloured headdresses, mothers with their babies in a beautifully decorated carrying cloth, ethnic women contrasting with the oranges they were selling, a Hani man smoking a gigantic bamboo pipe... There was enough to keep me busy until, finally, our minivan made it to the other side of town and we could continue our way back to Yuanyang.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Yuanyang market people (China). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Yuanyang market people.
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